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PRC National, Congying Liu, Convicted of Prostitution in the Jia Ren Massage Parlor Case

Koror, Palau — On Wednesday, August 26, 2020, the Palau Supreme Court convicted Defendant, Congying Liu, a national of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), of prostitution in the Jia Ren Massage Parlor case following the second day of trial. Defendant Liu previously moved to sever her case from the other cases and proceed to trial within the speedy trial period of 70 days from the date of her first court appearance on June 16, 2020. The case was filed based on a joint investigation conducted by the Office of the Special Prosecutor and the Anti-Human Trafficking Office earlier this year.

Presiding Justice Kathleen M. Salii pronounced sentence following the conclusion of trial. In her pronouncement of sentence, Presiding Justice Salii detailed both the pros and cons of evidence produced by the Republic during the trial against Defendant Liu. In weighing the evidence, including testimony of the witnesses, actions of Defendant Liu, and her employment at the Jia Ren Massage Parlor, the Court found the Government met its burden of proof, beyond a reasonable doubt, proving Defendant Liu committed prostitution in violation of 17 PNC § 4801(a).

Defendant Liu received a sentence of 1 year incarceration, suspended, on condition of 1 year probation, a $500 fine to be paid within 8 months, a directive not to work for or live in a massage parlor within the Republic or any place attached to a massage parlor, specifically noting the Jia Ren Massage Parlor, and to leave the Republic within 1 year. Furthermore, while in the Republic, Defendant Liu is to find other work, not as a masseuse, with assistance from the Probation Department and the Division of Labor. Probation may be terminated early once the fine is paid and a ticket to leave the Republic is obtained.

Outstanding charges against the remaining Defendants are expected to be resolved in mid-December 2020 or in January 2021.